Improving habitat for brush-tailed rock-wallabies in Ispwich
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About this project
Utilising combined funds from Wildlife Queensland’s 2018 Christmas appeal and Ipswich City Council funding, this project within Flinders–Goolman Conservation Estate aimed to alleviate the threats identified in the National Recovery Plan for brush-tailed rock-wallabies and to encourage breeding at a known den site.
First, Ipswich City Council developed a population-specific recovery plan that identified, assessed and mapped brush-tailed rock-wallaby colonies, foraging, and denning sites within the project area. For each known site, a suite of management objectives was proposed.
- improve foraging habitat at a historical denning site which was negatively impacted by bushfire and weed infestation, particularly creeping lantana (Lantana montevidensis)
- increase denning activity of brush-tailed rock-wallabies at the project location through improving the quality of adjacent foraging habitat
- conduct baseline surveys in and around the project site using infrared camera monitoring and scat activity surveys to assess wallaby activity
- conduct surveys within and around the project site, targeting predator species, to monitor the site for predatory threats.
Wildlife Queensland and Logan City Council then worked together to restore a confirmed site known as ‘RW08 — The Den’ by enlisting weed control contractors for creeping lantana control.
Mt Elliot, within the Flinders-Goolman Conservation Area.
Wildlife monitoring cameras recorded activity at an identified den site.
Of the thousands of images captured on wildlife camera, most were of swamp wallabies (x1500) rather than brush-tailed rock-wallabies (x91 images). Data collated from 10 cameras revealed that the rock-wallabies visited just 2 sites (one of which was the den site), whereas the more common swamp wallabies were recorded on 9 out of the 10 cameras.
Wild dogs were also seen in some of the camera captures (x34).
Interestingly, photos also showed a rock wallaby with a swamp wallaby — an interaction lasting about 2 minutes. Generally, these two wallabies are thought to maintain their distance and remain in different places at different times, so as not to compete with or impact each other. Did food availability force these species together, or did we just happen to just document a rare moment of overlap? Read University of Queensland student Alesia Dyer’s final project report (below) for more.
Final project report
The loss of terrestrial biodiversity on a global scale is primarily attributed to habitat loss and fragmentation. In Queensland, extensive ecosystem transformation as a result of land clearing impacts the ‘Vulnerable’ brush-tailed rock wallaby (Petrogale penicillata). This study assessed brush-tailed rock wallaby (BTRW) activity and interactions with a potential competitor species (e.g. swamp wallaby) by installing ten passive infrared cameras to monitor wallaby activity in Ipswich, Queensland. The images from the cameras were used to investigate activity patterns of the two species.
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Partners & sponsors
- Ipswich City Council